NOTICE: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Space Policy. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Space Policy, 31, 1, (February 2015)


The U.S. Government faces acute budgetary deficits and national debt problems in the Obama Administration. These problems have been brought about by decades of unsustainable government spending affecting all agencies including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. (NASA). An outgrowth of this fiscal profligacy is the presence of wasteful and duplicative programs within NASA that prevent this agency from achieving its space science and human spaceflight objectives. These problems occur due to mismanagement of these programs from NASA and the creation of these programs by the U.S. Congress and congressional committees. This occurs because congressional appropriators tend to be more concerned with economically enhancing their states and promoting their reelections instead of providing effectively targeted funding and oversight of their programs to ensure they meet national space policy goals and provide tangible value for taxpayers. This work will examine recent examples of wasteful and duplicative NASA programs and suggest ways to improve their utility.


National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), space policy, government waste, program duplication, inefficiency, congressional oversight, congressional earmarking, congressional reporting requirements.

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